There are quite a few body forms of vehicles available in the market. However, there are many who really do not understand how driving dynamics can change drastically because of the body type of the vehicle. Here is a video that shows how hatchbacks and SUVs can be so different to drive.
The video comes from Bharat – AutoWheels India who has shot the video during an event. The video shows the vehicles getting driven around a short and extremely tight track, which requires a lot of steering input. This a perfect video to show the handling difference between a hatchback and an SUV.
First, the lead car – Maruti Suzuki Swift can be seen going around the track at a high speed. Following closely is the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, which again is a hatchback. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno follows the Swift all through the track. At a few points, the Baleno is left behind but that’s purely the driver skills causing that.
The later part of the video shows the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza following the Swift. The Swift can be seen going around the corners at high speed while the Vitara Brezza trying to keep up hard with the Swift. However, due to the dynamics of the vehicle, it just could not keep up.
Since the Swift offers a low ground clearance and a short body, the centre of gravity of the vehicle lies at a much lower point. The lower ground clearance of the vehicle allows it to be extremely stable, which translates into high-speed corners and turns. When it comes to SUVs, the tall body and high ground clearance ensure that the centre of gravity is much higher. The higher centre of gravity translates into a high degree of body roll, which causes the vehicle to lean on the sides while taking corners. At higher speeds, the vehicle rolls to the side even more, which can dis-balance the vehicle and even topple it. At one point, the Vitara Brezza can be seen losing traction on a corner because of the high amount of body roll.
This is a major difference between the SUVs and cars with other body forms. SUVs can be quick in a straight line but taking high-speed corners is really not their forte. The high body roll in the SUVs is something that should be taken into account by everyone. The high amount of body roll can also affect changing lanes at high speed. However, there are SUVs that offer stiff suspension setup. This reduces the body roll substantially but it should be noted that a tall vehicle with high ground clearance can never be as stable as a short vehicle with low ground clearance around the corners.